Cleveland Clinic Unveils 'Top 10' Medical Innovations for 2009

Thursday, November 13, 2008 General News
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CLEVELAND, Nov. 12 Imagine if a simple blood test coulddetect recurrent cancer earlier, while also predicting a patient's prognosis.Imagine if a device the size of two decks of cards could help a paraplegicbreathe without a bulky ventilator. Or imagine if a machine could essentiallykeep harvested organs alive until they're transplanted in the recipient.

Now imagine that these innovations already exist, because they do, alongwith seven other emerging technologies that make up Cleveland Clinic's Top 10Medical Innovations for 2009.

The list of breakthrough devices and therapies was selected by a panel ofCleveland Clinic physicians and scientists and was unveiled during ClevelandClinic's 2008 Medical Innovation Summit( ), which iscurrently underway. The innovations touch on avian influenza, electronicmedical records, and various minimally invasive surgeries to treat uterinefibroids, to repair heart valves, and to remove organs through the body'snatural orifices.

"Once again, we are seeing a diverse list of technologies that have thepotential to make an enormous medical impact in the near future," said MichaelRoizen, M.D., who chaired the Top 10 Medical Innovations List.

The Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2009

10. Private Sector National Health Information Exchange: A comprehensivesystem of electronic health records that link consumers, generalpractitioners, specialists, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, andinsurance companies is in the process of being established. Primarily aprivate-sector effort, this computerized system has the potential to replacepaper-based medical files with digitized records of patients' complete medicalhistory.

9. Doppler-Guided Uterine Artery Occlusion: Fibroid tumors occur inupwards of 40% of women older than 35, triggering pelvic pain, pregnancycomplications, and heavy bleeding. There is a new, non-invasive approach totreat fibroids called Doppler-guided uterine artery occlusion, or DUAO.

8. Integration of Diffusion Tensor Imaging (Tractography): Diffusiontensor imaging (DTI) is the new technology that allows neuroscientists tonon-invasively probe the long-neglected half of the brain called white matter,with its densely packed collection of intertwining insulated projections ofneurons that join all four of the brain's lobes, allowing them to communicatewith each other.

7. LESS and NOTES Applications: LESS (laparoendoscopic single-sitesurgery) takes laparoscopic surgery to an entirely new level by reducing theprocess to a small cut in the belly button. NOTES (natural orificetransluminal endoscopic surgery) bypasses normal laparoscopic incisionsaltogether. Instead, the surgeon gets to an appendix, prostate, kidney, orgallbladder through one of the body's natural cavities, such as the mouth,vagina, or colon.

6. New Strategies for Creating Vaccines for Avian Flu: A newer vaccineapproach that uses a mock version of the bird virus called a virus-likeparticle (VLP) may offer a better solution to protect people against infectionfrom the deadly avian virus.

5. Percutaneous Mitral Valve Regurgitation Repair: Using a tiny barbed,wishbone-shaped device, the heart is fixed non-surgically from the inside out.A catheter is carefully guided through the femoral vein in the groin, up tothe heart's mitral valves. The clip on the tip of a catheter is then clampedon the center of the valve leaflets, which holds them together and quicklyhelps restore normal blood flow out through the leaflets.

4. Multi-Spectral Imaging Systems: The imaging system is attached to astandard microscope, where researchers can stain up to four proteins usingdifferent colors and look at tissue samples with 10 to 30 differentwavelengths, allowing for the accumulation of more information than iscurrently available. This helps researchers to better understand thecomplicated signaling pathways in cancer cells, and to develop more targetedtherapies, which might allow physicians to better personalize treatment forindividual patients.

3. Diaphragm Pacing System: Four electrodes are connected to the phrenicnerves on the diaphragm. Wires from the electrodes run to and from a controlbox about the size of two decks of playing cards worn outside the body. Whenthe electrodes are stimulated by current, the diaphragm contracts and air issucked into the lungs. When not stimulated, the diaphragm relaxes and airmoves out of the lungs.

2. Warm Organ Perfusion Device: Once a heart becomes available fortransplant, surgeons have just four hours before the organ begins to decay.This device, though, recreates conditions within the body to keep the heartpumping for up to 12 hours.

1. Use of Circulating Tumor Cell Technology: A blood test that measurescirculating tumor cells - cancer cells that have broken away from an existingtumor and entered the bloodstream - has the ability to detect recurrent cancersooner, while also predicting how well treatment is working and the patient'sprobable outcome. The test results will allow physicians to better monitor apatient's progress, adjusting treatment if necessary.

"Cleveland Clinic was founded by innovators, and this Top Ten listreflects the continuing passion for innovation of its scientists andclinicians," said Christopher Coburn, Executive Director, Innovations, theCleveland Clinic's corporate venturing arm. "This list is a natural outgrowthof the role of Clinic physicians as arbiters of innovation as they work toprovide their patients the very best that the technology community has tooffer. This list lets the public in on the thinking of top physicians workingon the front lines of medicine."

Four major criteria served as the basis for qualifying and selecting theTop 10 Medical Innovations. Nominated innovations were required to:

The Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2009 were announced today at the sixthannual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit. In developing the Top 10,Cleveland Clinic enlisted the expertise of AlixPartners, LLP, an independentinternational management advisory firm. AlixPartners led the process to probethe opinions of Cleveland Clinic physicians and researchers, create a field ofnominated innovative technologies for consideration, and develop a consensusperspective on the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2009.

For more information about this year's Medical Innovation Summit and theconference agenda, visit .

About Cleveland Clinic Innovations

CC Innovations, the commercialization and innovation arm of ClevelandClinic, organizes the Medical Innovation Summit, promotes innovation and isresponsible for commercialization of all Cleveland Clinic technologies. CCInnovations advances product-oriented innovation and transforms promisingtherapies, devices and diagnostics into beneficial medical products, viaspin-off companies, licensees and equity partnerships.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profitmultispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospitalcare with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by fourrenowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care basedupon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News &World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's besthospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic andCleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties andsubspecialties. In 2007, there were 3.5 million outpatient visits to ClevelandClinic and 50,455 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from everystate and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is .-- Have significant potential for short-term clinical impact (either a major improvement in patient benefit or an improved function that enhances healthcare delivery). -- Have a high probability of success. -- Be on the market or close to being introduced. -- Have sufficient data available to support its nomination.

SOURCE Cleveland Clinic

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